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Doubts over wind project  

Credit:  Pyrenees Advocate | Friday October 5, 2012 ~~

A second wind farm project in Pyrenees Shire has apparently been abandoned.

The Ben More wind farm was proposed in 2009 after initial testing revealed ideal conditions for turbines on the ridge between Amphitheatre and Lexton.

Transfield Services proposed a wind farm of between 50 and 60 wind turbines.

In correspondence with the local community, it was suggested the project represents a potential $250 million investment in the region and had the potential to supply the electricity needs of approximately 80,000 Victorian homes.

But the project has gone quiet, with no communications with the local community in over two years.

An investigation by the Advocate has found that Transfield Services Infrastructure Fund was acquired by Ratch Australia.

A search of the Ratch Australia website found no mention of the Ben More project.

The Ben More project was the only wind farm proposal in Pyrenees Shire not to receive a permit and it’s believed new State legislation would make the project impossible.

The proposal was dealt another blow several months ago when Origin Energy pulled out of the 20 turbine Lexton wind farm project.

It is understood that the Ben More project would have linked into the electricity grid via the Lexton wind farm.

The Advocate contacted the Project Director, Nick Valentine, who said the project was still being weighed up.

“No decision has been made,” he said.

“We have to see if the project is still viable under the new legislation but no official decision has been made,” Mr Valentine said.

Pyrenees Shire Councillor, David Clark, said he wouldn’t be surprised if the project was dumped.

“I’ve heard nothing from then in 18 months and I think for all the reasons why Lexton was pulled, the Ben More project won’t proceed,” Cr Clark said.

It’s a difficult landscape and there were houses within the two kilometre buffer, so it had complications,” he said.

“Ironically, this was the first wind farm project proposed in the Shire back in 2000,” Cr Clark said.

Source:  Pyrenees Advocate | Friday October 5, 2012

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